FAQs | Great Bay 5K

Where is the Great Bay 5K?

This point-to-point race starts on Sandy Point Road in Stratham, NH (across from the main entrance to Stratham Hill Park, 270 Portsmouth Avenue, Stratham, NH), goes left along Route 33, then through quiet neighborhoods, and finishes at the Great Bay Discovery Center on Depot Road in Greenland, NH.

When and where can I pick up my packet?

Packet pick-up for all runners, walkers and teams is as follows:

Thursday, October 24 from 2pm – 6pm at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center (“the Barn”), 89 Depot Road, Greenland, NH.

Friday, October 25 from 12noon – 6pm at the Hugh Gregg Coastal Conservation Center (“the Barn”), 89 Depot Road, Greenland, NH.

Saturday, October 26 from 7:30am – 8:45am at Stratham Hill Park, 270 Portsmouth Avenue, Stratham, NH. Unfortunately, this pickup time is not available for Team pick-up.

Where can I park for the race?

There is a large parking field at the end of Jack Rabbit Lane, off Route 33, next to Stratham Hill Park. Police and volunteers will direct you there. You can also park along Route 33 in front of the Park. Please arrive early so you’ll have plenty of time to park, pick up your packet, use the port-a-potties (yes, there will be lines!), and cross the street to the race start. In fairness to those who arrive on time, we will not delay the start for late-arriving racers.

Can I park near the finish area?

There will be NO RACE PARKING at the Great Bay Discovery Center. (If you do manage to get in to the Center parking lot, you will not be able to leave until every racer has finished and the timing mats have been pulled up.) You can park on nearby side streets, and can then do your warm up run up Depot Road to get to the starting line (approx. ¾ of a mile).

Will there be chip timing?

Yes, the Great Bay 5K uses bib-chips, which are attached to the back of your race numbers. Please do not bend your race number as bending may damage the chip. Pin your race number to the outside front of what you will be wearing in the race. If your race number is obscured, you may not get an official time for the race.

Can I race with my dog?

We like dogs a lot, but having them in the middle of a race is just too risky for everyone. So please leave your dogs (and cats, gerbils, snakes, etc.) at home, and go for a run with them after the race.

What is the MacKenzie Mile?

This is a unique race within the 5K. The first male/female racers to reach the one mile mark will each win a $50 prize (assuming they complete the race at close to the same pace).

Will there be water and food after the race?

Yes, there will be water a little beyond the finish line. And there will be plenty of post-race food in the pavilion to the left of the big brown barn beyond the finish line.

What are the age groups for the Great Bay 5K?

14 & under, 15-20, 21-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, 70-74, 75-79, 80-85, 90-95, 95-99, 100+.

What are the awards for the Great Bay 5K?

The award ceremony will be in the big brown barn past the finish line, and will start at approximately 10:15am, or as soon as the results are available. There are cash awards ($200, $150, $100) for the top male/female finishers and for new course records ($100), and other awards for the top male/female walkers and for the top 3 (male/female) finishers in each age group. SPECIAL AWARD: $1,000 if the male and/or female race winner is faster than the “All Comers” State of NH 5K records (male – 13:53; female – 15:28). Must be present to win.

If I can’t make it on race day, can I give my race number to someone else?

We’re sorry, but giving away your race number creates safety and liability risks for the person running, and can create havoc at the award ceremony. Therefore, we ask you to not give your race bib to another person. Anyone found racing with another person’s number will be disqualified.

What time does the race start?

9:00 AM sharp.

Will I get a race shirt?

Our long-sleeve, moisture-wicking race shirts will go to everyone who registers prior to September 30. If ordering Women’s shirts, please order one to two sizes up as they run small. Please note, we cannot be responsible for lost or delayed mail-in entry forms, so please register well before the cut-off date if you want to make sure you get a race shirt. There may be race shirts available at the Great Bay Discovery Center after the race for those who did not register by September 30 – those shirts will be available on a “first come -first served” basis.

Want extra race shirts for your friends? Just fill out this form and mail it in, with a check, to be received no later than September 30. Extra shirts are $15 each.

How can I get back to my car after the race?

There will be a shuttle bus from near the finish area to Jack Rabbit Lane. You can also walk up Depot Road back to the parking area. It is about a one mile walk, and a good post-race cool-down.

What is the course like?

The course is mostly downhill and wicked fast. It includes suburban/rural residential streets, and has great views of Great Bay. The streets will be open to traffic, so be mindful of the vehicles, and stay to the side of the road.

Can I race with a stroller?

You may, but please start at the back of the pack. It is your responsibility to ensure that your stroller does not impede or injure other racers. Of course, the safety of your child should be your first responsibility.

Will there be water on the course?

Yes, there is one water stop, at about 1.5 miles.

Is there a kids’ Fun Run?

Yes there will be a Fun Run after the 5K. It will start at the Great Bay Discovery Center at approximately 9:50. There is no charge for the Fun Run, but registration is required. Registration forms will be near the Fun Run start.

Is there a costume contest?

Yes, there will be cash awards ($53.27) for the best male/female costumes, best costumed family, and best costumed team in the 5K, and prizes for the best costumes in the Fun Run too. You must be present at the award ceremony to win.

How can I get my extra clothes to the finish area?

There will be a bag van at Stratham Hill Park into which you can put your warm clothes. The bags will be taken to the Great Bay Discovery Center, and will be there when you finish the race. We cannot provide security for your bags, so please leave your valuables in your car.

Are there team awards?

To compete for awards, each team must have at least 5 members. The categories are Male and Female. Scoring is based on points allocated for how each team member finishes in their age group: A 1st place age group finisher earns 1 point, 2nd place earns 2 points, etc. The lowest score wins. Ties will be broken by counting the number of 1st place age group finishes on each team. The winning team in each category will earn a free pizza party (pizza and non-alcoholic beverages) for up to 30 people. Location to be announced. Go to the TEAM page on the race website for full team competition details.

The New England Oyster Cup is a special competition for mixed teams comprised of at least 3 men and 3 women. Scoring will be based on chip time for each team member, and the team with the overall fastest time will win the coveted “New England Oyster Cup” trophy, plus bragging rights as the fastest mixed running team in New England!


Will there be beer and oysters?

Yes! After the race, take your bib (with tear-strip) to one of several great local craft breweries for a complimentary beer. Participating breweries are Deciduous Brewery (Newmarket, NH), Tributary Brewing Company (Kittery, ME), Tilton Brothers Brewing, Liar’s Bench, North Country Hard Cider and Empty Pint Brewing Company. Registered racers will also receive a half dozen oysters from The Franklin (Portsmouth, NH). This offer is good on October 26 and 27th only. You must be over 21 to participate. One complimentary beer at one participating brewery per racer.

If you have a question that we didn’t answer, please contact us.


Countdown to the GB5K!